EVOLUTION AND CHRISTIAN HOPE: Man's Concept of the Future from the Early Fathers to Teilhard de Chardin by Ernst Benz

EVOLUTION AND CHRISTIAN HOPE: Man's Concept of the Future from the Early Fathers to Teilhard de Chardin

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Man is not only transforming his environment but is shaping his own evolution. The question of evolution and the future of man, therefore, can no longer be ignored, as both dialectical theology and existentialism have been inclined to do. The ""lost categories of hope and prophecy"" must be recovered. This is the point of view advanced in this competently informed and freshly conceived study of the development of the doctrine of evolution out of the eschatology of the primitive church. The plan of the book offers a historical survey of this development, showing how the early eschatology gave way, under Augustine, to the idea of the Visible Church as the kingdom on earth; and this transformation, in turn, was changed and then challenged by tendencies already at work in medieval Europe and later by the nineteenth century outburst of science epitomized in Darwinism. Divergent solutions of the tension between classical eschatology and evolutionist progress, such as Marxism and the ""superman"" of the Indian seer, Sri Aurobindo, are discussed. The climax of the study centers upon the thought of Teilhard de Chardin, which offers a new vision of creation, salvation, and eschatology, as seen in the light of his theory of evolution. This is a book that should stimulate both theologians and lay students and readers. The style is clear and difficult concepts are handled simply.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Doubleday